You've probably seen those survival bracelets everywhere you go, whether online or even in your favorite camping store. There are not many people who I personally know who have not heard of or seen a survival bracelet. But up until recently, there have not been many survival necklaces.
The functions of a survival necklace are similar to that of a survival bracelet, but with some added benefits. Like the popular bracelets, which are mostly constructed of 550 paracord, the cord can be used for various purposes. Whether repairing a broken shoelace, lashing down something to a backpack, building a shelter, fashioning a snare, or something simple like making a lanyard, paracord is extremely versatile. Anywhere or at any time where cordage is needed, paracord can be utilized for that purpose.
An added benefit of survival necklaces over bracelets is the ability to carry items on the necklace. For years, survivalists and outdoor enthusiasts have carried things on a string or ball chain necklace around their necks, such as a fire steel, small knife, spy capsules containing anything from fire tinder to medical aids, and various other items customized to the individual's needs . In this manner, both the necklace and the items carried on it are tools for personal survival. A survival necklace, also referred to by some as a 550 paracord necklace, can hold the same amount or more of cordage as most survival bracelets on the market today. This can range anywhere from seven to twelve feet.
As mentioned previously, most survival bracelets are constructed of 550 paracord. This type of cord consists of an outer sheath of nylon, roughly 5/32 to 3/16 of an inch in diameter, woven around seven inner strands of a different material. These inner strands can be used for sewing, as fishing line, binding purposes and even in the making of bowstrings. Other nylon cord, also known as paraline, although similar in appearance to 550 paracord, normally contains four inner strands constructed of a different material than those within 550 paracord. These inner strands have a bit more stretch and are not as strong. The outer nylon sheath may be of the same weave construction, but the inner strands are what give the cord its strength. Paraline may look the same, but for the purposes which survival bracelets and survival necklaces are made to serve, paraline is an inferior choice.
Of the various survival and braided paracord necklaces that are available today, it's important to note the differences in their construction. Some are braided together of three or four separate strands of paracord, which are bound at opposite ends and connected or tied with a single strand or plastic buckle of some sort. These are, in our opinion, the furthest from how a survival necklace should be made. Some necklaces are made in a spiral pattern, where one strand is wrapped around one or more strands, attaching the ends with a metal or plastic fixture. Still others are made of one continuous strand. We believe it's more practical to have a necklace woven or braided of one continuous strand of paracord. A necklace consisting of four strands of twenty to twenty-four inches each is limited in its use. Should a situation arise where several continuous feet of cordage is needed, this style of survival necklace would not meet the demand.
In review of survival necklaces, we feel that they may be the next most popular accessory in survival gear. Not only are they functional pieces of equipment, but with the various colors available today, can be an attractive and sporty clothing accessory. If you have not checked out the latest thing in survival gear, take a few minutes and look into getting your own 550 paracord survival necklace.